ScaleSimulator: A Fast and Cycle-Accurate Parallel Simulator for Architectural Exploration

by   Ori Chalak, et al.

Design of next generation computer systems should be supported by simulation infrastructure that must achieve a few contradictory goals such as fast execution time, high accuracy, and enough flexibility to allow comparison between large numbers of possible design points. Most existing architecture level simulators are designed to be flexible and to execute the code in parallel for greater efficiency, but at the cost of scarified accuracy. This paper presents the ScaleSimulator simulation environment, which is based on a new design methodology whose goal is to achieve near cycle accuracy while still being flexible enough to simulate many different future system architectures and efficient enough to run meaningful workloads. We achieve these goals by making the parallelism a first-class citizen in our methodology. Thus, this paper focuses mainly on the ScaleSimulator design points that enable better parallel execution while maintaining the scalability and cycle accuracy of a simulated architecture. The paper indicates that the new proposed ScaleSimulator tool can (1) efficiently parallelize the execution of a cycle-accurate architecture simulator, (2) efficiently simulate complex architectures (e.g., out-of-order CPU pipeline, cache coherency protocol, and network) and massive parallel systems, and (3) use meaningful workloads, such as full simulation of OLTP benchmarks, to examine future architectural choices.


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